Tribes: Ascend Review - F2P Shazbot Shooter (Page 2)

Updated Tue, Apr 17, 2012 by Stow

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How can the biggest teamplay shooter in recent years not have VOIP in-game? There’s a certain level of coordination required to break down a couple of stalwart flag defenders and make a clean capture, and it’s incredibly difficult to achieve in your typical match-made game. The in-game voice hotkeys work to some extent, but you can’t shout at a heavy who just broke down the enemy defense to clear out of your way since you’re flying at the flag at 200+ speed--next thing you know, he just casually waltzes onto the flag and you fly by with a whole lot of nothing in your hands.

Heavy on Flag, or HoF is a critical role that puts you in the line of fire constantly. But someone has to stop those pesky lights flying in at light speed to take your flag and disappear into the sunset before anyone can draw a bead on them.!


Some of the private/VIP custom server stuff has yet to be fully integrated as well, which is a shame. But despite a couple critical flaws here, the base game is every bit as fun as you remember it--or possibly more fun than you've ever had with an FPS if you're new to the series.



You can unlock all you need to be competitive in Tribes: Ascend relatively quickly--only a couple classes are essential roles that you don’t start with, and the weapons are largely optional unless you’re playing a Technician. All items can be obtained with in-game experience points, so there’s no pay-to-win pressure. That doesn’t stop 100k experience from being an incredibly daunting number, and even with a purchase of gold and a booster, it will still take you a couple of weeks to get.

But since the base package has a light spinfusor class, a heavy mortar class, and a jack of all trades--you really don’t need a whole lot more in your basic team. Only once you start playing more competitively or with friends will you actually need additional classes to function well--and by then you can probably unlock them naturally. Any purchase of in-game gold permanently multiplies your experience rate by 50%, which then stacks with the 100% boosters so.... the potential for multiplying your growth exponentially for ten bucks is there if you want to unlock a ton in a hurry and forever boost your gains.

Lasting Appeal

87Very Good

I always thought it was a joke that a free-to-play game was being developed as successor to Tribes 2 but now I see that it actually is a successor. Even though the bases and loadouts were simplified, the core gameplay and disc-launching action remains true and Hi-Rez has done a great job of listening to the community and making positive changes to the game. Perhaps most importantly, I don’t feel obligated to put any money into the game to have a good time, and if I did, I’d only have to give up dinner out for a night to get great returns forever on my experience earned in the game. It’s a beautiful business model that provides ample return on your purchases, but doesn’t require you to make them to unlock core gameplay elements or be competitive!

Pros and Cons


  • Familiar gameplay to Tribes vets, fresh to those new to series, and just fun!
  • This is my favorite F2P cash shop model in any action game.
  • The long arc of a mortar, the impact of a mid-air disc... the scope, speed, and skill of this game are top notch and a breath of fresh air to the market.


  • Eye candy won’t blow your mind
  • Some more customization would be nice--additional voices, female models, etc.
  • Possibly too late for the franchise. Does anyone under 20 even know what Tribes is these days?


Tribes: Ascendis a game that is just fun as hell. It has something for everyone, not only the Tribes fans. If you don’t like the skiing, pilot a vehicle. If you don’t like the flag capping, defend your generator. If you don’t like shooting midair, repair and upgrade your defenses. Hell, if you want to set up shop and play it like a modern FPS, you can play Sentinel, deploy a jamming pack atop a hill and snipe all day. It’s a fun mix of great gameplay elements combined with a F2P model that doesn’t demand you pull out your wallet to have fighting chance against the opposition, and has production values that will have you forgetting that you didn’t buy this game retail to begin with.

Stow Review at Ten Ton Hammer

  • Game Name: Tribes: Ascend
  • Review Date: April 17th, 2012
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I like the game play, it is very engaging play, the sound has implemented perfectly.

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When I heard there was a new Tribes coming out, I downloaded it as fast as I could. I used to play Starsiege Tribes with my dad when I was 6. It was my first FPS, and first video game really. Now, 12 years later, I can relive all of that. I've introduced friends to the game, I've gotten nostalgic about spinfusor kills and capping, I've got the "Gotta Go Fast" pin at least 200 times. Thank you, Hi-Rez, for making this game.

Now please, PLEASE add "Another One Bites The Dust" to the VGS.

Hi Stow, great Tribes: Ascend review. Im a fan of this game and i play it everyday. I learn a lot from your review!

You all are idiots. The guy did not say he got owned in a few rounds and ragequit. In fact NONE OF YOU have disproved that the matches are all just composed of two classes due to the game fail design. You just troll him. This game is garbage for the guys that kicked from BF2 for bunny hopping

Ok has this guy even play the game? the first thing you notice is at least 90% (if not everyone)of the players in a match are either pathfinder or soldiers, with both using the same type of weapon that explodes on contact, playing anything else requires you to be a real nerd with no social life and so have the skill of a cyber Chuck Norris, if you're not that then you are gonna find yourself slaughtered over and over by those 2 classes.

The pathfinder is just too OP is the fastest class and has one of the stronger weapons, the soldier follows closely with extra energy than other medium classes making him faster, his main weapon is a machine gun thing but their second is pretty much the same than the pathfinder's main.

So why are these 2 classes better than the other? the whole game is based on jumping and sliding if you're a slow medium or heavy class then you just find yourself surrounded by those 2 jumping over and over on top of ya and making you explode while you try to hit em the split second they touch ground or try to pull a miracle and hit em in the air. And trust me everyone knows this and the second they see a heavy around they go like flies to S#%@ to destroy it.

I made the big mistake of spending the gold I got from FB like into a doombringer, heavy class that has a minigun kinda main weapon and a lock-on missile launcher as second, the first weapon is kinda good but hitting air targets is really hard and since you're a heavy class, trying to stay off the ground while shooting it is incredibly annoying and difficult, and the second weapon lock on is super long and it can only target airborne enemies or vehicles, so unless you're playing capture flag and enemy gets vehicles you hardly ever get to shoot it, since players almost never stay on air too long for it to lock or anything gets in the middle and you lost it, including another enemy. And dont get me started on the sniper..., well you can imagine how hard is to play a sniper when every thing is moving super fast on huge maps and jumping all over, then the tactician with his turrets, you can probably do something in capture the flag but when everyone has weapons that can 1 or 2 shot your turrets whats the point?, the infiltrator is a stealth class with the weakest weapons ever, everywhere they put him doing melee weapons, but same as sniper, try hitting someone with melee when everyone moves super fast and jumps non stop, its a miracle if you make one after trying the whole match.

Just to clarify I really like shooters and play lots of them, I'm not a super player but consider myself pretty good, in other games like Halo, CoD or TF2 I always end up on the first places and in this game too if I play pathfinder or soldier, but If i try anything else most times I just get terribly frustrated and owned.

You will not do well with a high skill game like this without putting in your time as many Tribes players have done over the years. Either put in your time and learn how to play the game or find something your skill set can handle. Everything you cry about is something any Tribes player worth a damn knows is a noob mistake.

It's quite obvious that you have no idea of what you're talking about, and you show that.

You most probably played the game for a couple of hours, got butthurt because you kept dying even if you're "good" at CoD and TF2, and ragequitted.

Let me get this straight: your experience in other FPS is worth JACK in Tribes. Being a CoD player hurts you more than helping you, and usually makes Tribes players laugh their head off while they look at you running around instead of skiing, before blowing you up.

Throw your ego out of the window. Your skill is worth less than zero in Tribes.
If anyone thinks of playing Tribes for the first time and start "owning" people with their "l33t skillz" from Call of Duty, prepare to get your ass handed to you on a silver platter. If you have no experience with Tribes games, consider yourself a Noob.
Accept that, prepare yourself to get killed. Then you'll be able to improve.

Every class has a role, and is extremely good at what it does.
A Doombringer isn't supposed to go around trying to kill people. A Doombringer is a defensive class, that stays at a distance usually defending the base, blowing vehicles up and shooting people out of the sky.
That's your role. Play it in another way, and you're playing it wrong.
A Technician role is to repair the base and defend the generator. Alone in the field it's cannon fodder. Your turrets are EXTREMELY useful, if you don't place them outside in plain view. The Technician works indoors for the most part, that is your place.
The Infiltrator is a class made to destroy enemy bases. In normal combat you're less than exceptional. Your job is to infilitrate the enemy base, blow up their defenses, and kill any Technician that tries to defend and repair them.
A Sentinel's job is to kill light classes from far away thanks to their Sniper Rifle. As with almost every weapon in Tribes, the Sniper rifle isn't hitscan, so you have to practice and shoot where your target will be when your shot lands. Also you can't "quickscope" with it, you need to stay in zoom for a while for your shots to do maximum damage. Using the Sniper takes some ACTUAL skill. Throw your CoD experiences with it out of the window.

And so on. Every class has its role in each mode and every class is absolutely necessary to win a game.
Learn the classes, learn their roles, learn how to play them.
Then you'll be good at Tribes, and you'll get more enjoyment out of it than with any other game.

But most importantly, when playing Tribes you have to learn some bloody teamplay. Again, this isn't CoD. And Thank God for that.

So, you're basically complaining that you weren't instantly good at Tribes? The franchise always had a learning curve. I find that aspect way more enjoyable than the "become instantly good because this game is so similar to every other title" gameplay you see way too often these days. You have to appreciate the challenge inherent in learning Tribes.

I honestly don't see how it's more difficult to play Infiltrator or Technician properly than Pathfinder properly (and that means grabbing the flag at 200+ km/h). Personally, the only class that (to me) has a steeper learning curve is Raider: playing Doombringer Heavy on Flag is quite easy. Remember all classes are balanced for CTF play, which is the REAL Tribes gamemode (and to a smaller extent, Capture and Hold and Siege if they ever get to implement that).


Hi-Rez Studios looking into ways to provide the community with options to further support Tribes: Ascend.

Interviews, News
Thu, Jul 18, 2013

Resumption of halted development for Tribes: Ascend unlikely to resume as studio shifts focus to Global Agenda 2 and SMITE MOBA.

News, Official Announcements
Mon, Jul 15, 2013

Hi-Rez Studios serves up new update and a one-time buy option to unlock all weapons, perks, and classes for Tribes: Ascend.

Press Release, Video, News, Official Announcements
Fri, Feb 15, 2013

Unlock all of Tribes: Ascend’s classes, weapons, and perks by purchasing one neat little package.

News, Official Announcements
Tue, Feb 12, 2013

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